Home Leave

I just thought I’d drop a few lines to tell you I haven’t vanished from the face of the Earth, but my family and I are on home leave in the U.S., enjoying a hot and humid summer and the company of good old friends. South Africa seems far, far away. But I do miss it. I miss the cool crisp mornings with the promise of another beautiful day in the air; the wide toothy (and toothless) smiles of people asking how I’m doing today; the dramatic landscapes of the highveld dotted with short stubby trees; the beautiful lilt of South African English; the birdsong concerts in the early morning. And I miss the slower pace of life in general.

On the other hand, here are the things I absolutely LOVE here in the U.S.A.:

  • Water fountains and free ice water pretty much everywhere
  • Baseball (even the Royals)
  • You won’t believe this, but the hot and humid weather
  • Pee warm lake water you can hang out in all day
  • The sound of crickets
  • Turning on red
  • Hawker-free intersections (although I have to say they do kind of grow on you)
  • Parking anywhere I want, without an attendant waving from behind me who I’m afraid I’ll run over
  • Plastic money (I came without a dime in cash and haven’t needed any, zip, nada – Amex all the way)
  • Wide open highways
  • The ability to buy anything I can dream of at any time of day or night
  • More specifically, shopping at Target
  • Our president (pre-2016, that is)
  • Our group of wonderful friends